Chris Cox, Control Freak, Pavilion Theatre, 17/10/08
If Derren Brown is the magical community’s pretentious twit, then Chris Cox is their lovable geek.
A well-edited but misleading opening video montage makes it seem like what we are about to see is a lot more glamorous and mysterious than it actually is.
Cox tries to be too many things at once, like those tragic actors/models/singers, opting instead to be a magician/comedian/mind-reader.
The tricks are impressive, but nothing that we haven’t seen before on the numerous ‘Trick of the Mind’ re-runs on Channel 4 and, for a show that was listed as part of the Brighton Comedy Festival, the comedy aspect comes across as nervous and contrived.
Cox could be forgiven for all of this, however, as he’s just so endearing. Working the geek chic look with puppy dog eyes and messy hair, he could have come out and juggled appallingly for two hours and we still would have applauded.
Although the second half dragged somewhat with a long-winded trick that turned out to be only slightly amazing, the magician saved things with an impressive finish.
However, I was left thinking ‘wasn’t he sweet?!’ rather than ‘wow, how’d he do that?!’.
If you’re simply after a different Friday night out to the usual pub-club routine, I recommend Chris Cox. Otherwise, a night in with a cup of tea and Derren Brown on 4OD will do the trick.